On March 18th Mr. Obama, (it still sickens my stomach to use President in the same sentence with his name), floated the idea of making voting mandatory for all citizens, saying it would change the political landscape in America. I’m sure it would. What mandatory voting WOULD do is ensure that there were more idiots voting than there are now, that’s what it would do.
I’m against this idea for many reasons, all of which I will explain.
First of all, unless it were a constitutional amendment which required that voting be mandatory I would not even consider supporting the idea. The government cannot make participating in an event mandatory, no matter how beneficial it may be to the overall health of the union. They could no more make voting mandatory than they could make watching the Super Bowl mandatory. Making participating in anything mandatory destroys freewill, and yes this includes making having health insurance mandatory.
The concept of freewill demands that you be given a choice to either do, or not do something. But at the same time it demands that you accept the responsibility for your choices. If you choose not to do something and your choice causes problems for you then you cannot demand that others shoulder the burden of your bad choices. That is what freewill, hell, that is what liberty is all about. So making voting mandatory goes against all that I believe in from that point alone.
Most people in this country consider FDR, or Franklin Delano Roosevelt to be one of our better presidents. I’m not among those who do, but still, many people do think of him that way. Very few think about his wife, Eleanor. She once made a comment that holds true to this very day, “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.”
I believe that quote is at the very center of why so many people want government to do so many things for them…make them mandatory. People fear the responsibility of having to live on their own without a safety net of some sort in case they fail, or make bad choices. People fear that responsibility. I’ve heard it myself in regards to some people’s excuses for not owning guns, especially among women.
I can’t count the times that I’ve heard some women say that they won’t allow a gun in their house. They tell me that they fear their husband shooting them and that they will leave their protection in the hands of law enforcement…or God. I have a few choice things to say about this. First, if you fear your husband with a gun maybe you ought to stop nagging him so much, or stop being such a bitch. Yes, you heard me.
Don’t give your husband a reason to get tired of you in the first place. Secondly, if you truly fear the thought of your husband having a gun to protect YOU and the rest of your family, maybe you married the wrong guy in the first place. And finally, many of these women I have heard who say that they will rely on God to protect them also vote Democratic. Do you honestly believe that God is going to protect you when you vote for candidates who support concepts that go against His will? Do you think God likes it that you vote for candidates who support abortion and gay rights? Just saying you ought to rethink your position if you want God to watch over you.
Although I may not agree with your stance, it is your right to make that choice. But the moment you decide that your viewpoint on an issue is the ONLY viewpoint and demand that it apply to the rest of America you have crossed the line. Locke considered the right of self-defense to be the first natural right of man. For you to demand of your elected representative that this right be taken from those who choose to exercise it goes against all that freewill and liberty stand for…and I will not abide it!
But I stray from the subject at hand.
The idea of making voting mandatory for all is bad enough when you consider that it takes away freewill, but when you add to the mix the number of constitutionally uneducated people in this country it is bad news.
Now when I say what I’m about to say it may seem like I’m making this more about guns than I am voting, but I’m not. I’m simply using this as an example. People say that there should be stricter laws passed for who can and cannot own guns. Already, at least in California, you must take a firearms safety test, at a cost of $35, before you can purchase a handgun. Then, if you want to carry that gun in public, concealed of course, you must again pay a fee, prove that you are proficient in the safe handling and firing of that weapon, and then you may be granted a permit…which has to be renewed every so many years.
Should not the same requirement apply to voting? Should you not be required to prove that you understand the Constitution and the Bill of Rights prior to your being allowed to vote? After all, my right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Bill of Rights, your right to vote is not. Maybe you ought to learn a little bit about the history of suffrage in the United States before you open your big mouths in response to what I just said.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights do not protect your right to vote. The only mention of voting is found in the Constitution itself in discussing how members of the Legislature and the Executive shall be elected. It makes no mention of who should be allowed to vote.
Did you know that at the time the Constitution was ratified that only white males could vote, and then only if they were property owners or had some form of taxable income. Although you may disagree, I find that there was some wisdom in that. If you owned property, or had some form of income that was taxable, you tended to be more educated and therefore more cognizant of what the Constitution said and the limits it imposed on government.
If you understood history, especially the period in which our nation gained its independence and wrote its Constitution you would know that our Founders did not want a democracy, which they considered mob rule. In some ways it was almost an aristocracy in which only the higher ups, the better educated, were allowed to choose who would represent the people in government.
Then they ratified the 15th, the 19th, the 24th and the 26th Amendments which, collectively, gave the right to vote to everyone over the age of 18. As with any right it is your choice as to whether you exercise it or not. If you say making voting mandatory is a good thing, what if they suddenly say going to church becomes mandatory…even if you are an atheist? If you do not believe in God you should not be forced to attend church services. If you no longer believe the political system functions properly you should not be required to vote. You should not be required to vote either if you are simply apathetic and don’t care one way or the other who is elected.
In fact I would rather that the uneducated not vote. It’s bad enough already with so many still believing in the two party system and those who vote yet know nothing at all about the Constitution. Flooding the system with more ignoramuses would just make things worse. America is in sad enough shape now because of the ignorance, apathy and complacency of those who do vote. If we were truly a people who valued liberty and freewill we would vote resoundingly for candidates who stood for the same principles we did. We WOULD NOT fall for this lesser of two evils bullshit or say that a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for __________.
No, we vote for the candidate who promises us more of what we want than the other candidates do. I would much rather vote for candidates who would lessen governmental regulation and interference in my life, not more of it. But that’s just me…and a few others.
We are not a democracy where the majority gets what it wants. We are a Constitutional Republic where the rule of law is above the will of the majority. Unfortunately the only thing separating the two is the people. If the people adhere to the law, then the law reigns supreme. The moment we abandon the law for our will we become a democracy.
And let me tell you what happens in democracies. Alexander Fraser Tytler once said, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
In 1814, after serving as President, John Adams wrote a letter to an associate named John Taylor where he said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty.”
That is the path that America is on now, a path fueled by an uneducated and apathetic populace. And you would agree with a president who wants to accelerate our progress on that path by adding more uneducated and apathetic voters?